As with any landscaping project, preparation is key to a successful outcome:
- Create a plan. Landscape design principles still apply, and following them will keep your outdoor space from looking like a jumble of random plantings. Unity, balance, proportion, variety, and diversity are important to a pleasing design.
- Measure the square footage of your yard to find out how much artificial turf you’ll need to purchase.
- If you’re going the organic route, consider varieties that are native to your area. Native plants are ones that adapt to your soil and climate. They will typically require less maintenance and have a better resistance to diseases and pests than non-native varieties. Native plants have the added benefit of supporting native wildlife. Also think about sunlight requirements, height at maturity, rate of growth, and other characteristics.
- Test your soil and amend it as needed to support the plants you want to grow.
Artificial grass gives the look of live grass without mowing, seeding, or fertilizing. Artificial grass can look very realistic and is available in types that simulate different turf-grass varieties. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Pile Height: Pile height is the length of the fibre from the backing to the tip of the grass. If you want natural-looking astro-turf, the longer the pile height, the better. A pile height between 30 to 37 mm is best for a lush-looking lawn.
- Density: The more density, the more comfortable and life-like your artificial turf will be. Density around three kilograms is recommended for high-traffic areas.
- Sub-Base: Take into consideration what sub-base you’ll be using when you install your artificial grass. There are variety of bases to pick from, including 1 aggregate and sharp sand.
Inorganic Landscaping Ideas
- Backyard Ponds: A great way to add some beauty to your yard, while reclaiming part of a lawn, and the sound of a bubbling fountain or waterfall will add a tranquil element to your yard. Like plants, water will also attract beneficial wildlife.
- Hardscaping: Using stone or block in the landscape replaces part of your lawn with architectural elements. Retaining walls, patio stones, walkways, benches, and fire pits are just some examples that not only break up your landscape, but also extend your living space to the outdoors.
- Other Inorganic Materials: Mulches, such as stone or shredded rubber, can replace areas of grass and add visual variety. Like natural mulches, these will also control erosion and weed growth.
Organic Landscaping Ideas
A great alternative to a traditional lawn is a landscape with a variety of vegetation. There are several plant types that make good replacements for turf-grass:
- Ground Covers: Vinca, common yarrow, thread-leaf tickseed, Japanese spurge, ivy, thyme, and daylily offer the benefit of spreading on their own or through division and replanting.
- Ornamental Grasses: Liriope, pink muhly grass, zebra grass, or switch grass provide a varied living landscape to replace the standard green of a lawn. Grasses that clump will be easier to control than those that spread by underground stems. Many ornamental grasses tolerate drought, resist disease and require little maintenance. In addition to variety in colours and textures, ornamental grasses add a vertical element to your landscape. They also provide motion when a breeze blows.
- Perennials: Every region has perennials and low shrubs, such as juniper, barberry, or cotoneaster, which can make excellent alternatives to lawns.
- Wildflowers: This is a great way to add vivid splashes of colour to areas that were once a uniform green, plus they tend to spread on their own.
- Fruit Trees: A beautiful addition to any landscape, they also offer the bonus of a harvest!
- Cottage, Meadow or Prairie Plants: It’s a great idea to combine flowers, grasses, and other plants to give your outdoors a wild, natural look. This diversity attracts a variety of beneficial insects and birds.
- Mulch: Their beds reduce lawn space while adding rich colour to a landscape. Mulch can also help control erosion and reduce weed growth. Some mulches have a pleasant fragrance for added sensory appeal.
Tip: Visit our Garden Centre to find out which plants thrive in your area.
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